The fifth-annual Du Quoin Fall Festival was held Saturday at Keyes Park.
The festival was organized by the Du Quoin Tourism Commission and featured more than 40 vendors. Among them were Mystic Sun Henna Tattoos, offering a natural skin dye as a safe alternative to needle tattoos for all ages; and C & S Designs, which was there for its third year and introduced a new "Bailey's Bears" tent to allow children to create their own teddy bears.
A kids corner featured a bounce house, face painting, pumpkin painting and a kernel treasure hunt, allowing kids to dig through corn kernels for pencils and erasers. The kids corner had nearly 30 high school student volunteers, according to Michelle Rodely of the Du Quoin Tourism Commission.
Rodely also noted that the pumpkin painting was extremely successful, with almost all the donated pumpkins for the event being used after just a few hours.
Du Quoin Police Officer Clay McDonnough provided a demonstration of the police department's K-9, Booker. The demonstration involved the officer hiding an object and having Booker find it. According to McDonnough, the K-9 can find any item with a human scent on it.
McDonnough says that when the dog is at home with him, there is no extra training and he is treated as a pet. He notes that the Belgian Malinois dog is friendly, but as a working dog it can sometimes be dangerous for a stranger to approach.
"It makes me a bit nervous with big crowds," McDonnough said. "Earlier a little girl came up to me, and you just don't know how he's going to react. If you see a service dog, ask the handler if you can pet them. Most of the time they will say no because it's a liability."
Three musical guests were scheduled to perform at the festival, but only two were able to perform before the festival was rained out and forced to end at about 4:30 p.m.
The Du Quoin Tourism Commission is now planning for the Holiday Lights Fair, which will begin Thanksgiving night at the fairgrounds.